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#NSTviral: Online campaign calls for witness protection for Sabah teacher who blew whistle on colleague

KUALA LUMPUR: Teacher and whistleblower Nurhaizah Ejab allegedly received death threats, had her car tyres slashed, and lost her school's support in efforts to provide better education for her students.

This, after she testified against an educator who repeatedly skipped classes at SMK Taun Gusi in Kota Belud, Sabah.

In a series of revelations through the Tiada.Guru campaign on Twitter, the administrator of @tiadaguru revealed several disturbing incidents involving teachers and administrators against Nurhaizah, who had filed a report over the absent teacher since 2015.

Nurhaizah is a witness in the teacher absenteeism case, which saw three former students winning an unprecedented suit against their teachers for failing to show up for class for seven months in 2017.

Now, the campaign is calling on the government to protect Nurhaizah Ejab as a whistleblower as they claim that the Education Ministry had not offered her any form of whistleblower protection, even after she received death threats and intimidation.

The campaign organisers are also calling on politicians, police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and the ministry to investigate any criminal actions shared by her through her testimony, documents and audio-video recordings that was revealed in court.

In a series of tweets, @tiadaguru alleged Nurhaizah had sent a report on the teacher regarding his absence in 2015 as ketua panitia (teacher-in-charge), but she was dismissed by the then principal.

"After reporting him in 2015, Nurhaizah received death threats, her car tyres were slashed, and she lost the school's support.

"They rationalised their threats because by giving evidence of his absences to the Kota Belud district education office, Nurhaizah was 'smearing the school's reputation'."

Nurhaizah took matters into her own hands to expose him by discreetly placing a GoPro camera in his classroom, Form Four Sports Science (4SS), to gather "more believable evidence" in 2017. This was revealed in court.

Through 80 time-stamped recordings, she revealed that the teacher consistently failed to attend class, leaving the students without proper instruction.

In 2020, three former students of SMK Taun Gusi — Rusiah Sabdarin, Nur Natasha Allisya Hamali and Calvina Angayung, all 22 — brought the teacher, principal, education director-general, education minister and the government to court for violating their constitutional rights to access education when they were in 4SS.

Their lawsuit was the second after the first filed by former SMK Taun Gusi student Siti Nafirah Siman in 2018.

The trio's lawsuit claimed their teacher refused to enter their English class for months in 2017, with zero attendance after July that year.

The other defendants, they claimed, failed to take any steps to rectify their teacher's months-long absences.

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